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Engaging and innovative: Kamal Birdi wins teaching award

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The route from research paper to the classroom is rarely as clear cut as Kamal Birdi’s work on creativity and innovation, which has led to him receiving the Award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Using his CLEAR IDEAS innovation development model as a basis for learning, over 13 years Kamal (pictured above) has trained over 1,000 people from private, public and third sector organisations to fulfil their creative potential through research-led teaching in innovation and workplace training/development.

More recently, Kamal has brought CLEAR IDEAS into the classrooms at the Management School – imparting and applying the theory to his Creativity and Innovation module which has been well received by students. Another model developed by Kamal, the Taxonomy of Training and Development Outcomes (TOTADO), has been taught to Occupational Psychology and Human Resources Management students for many years and in 2012 helped a former student to win the Occupational Psychology Practitioner of the Year Award, having applied TOTADO to her training work.

The CLEAR IDEAS app and website portal has brought the problem solving model to the masses, and also allows students and trainees to carry on the practice beyond their taught hours.

On his win, Kamal said: “It is an honour to be given this award and I would like to thank all my Institute of Work Psychology and other Management School colleagues who have helped in the journey and without whom this would not have been possible.

“I am lucky to be teaching something I feel passionate about – you just need to look around at recent events to see that the need for innovative ways of dealing with challenges is something continually faces us. As academics, I do feel we therefore have a crucial role in helping learners to understand how research-based strategies can be used to make a positive difference to the lives of students, communities and organisations. Teaching creativity also forces you to be creative in your own teaching!”

Kamal’s nominator, Professor John Cullen, said: “Kamal works hard to ensure his teaching is engaging, stimulating and innovative. He provides links between research and real-life challenges and issues, and encouraging supportive and constructive collaboration between learners has always been a key focus of his teaching activities.”

Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching and Chair at the Management School, Prof Paul Latreille, added: “Kamal is an exceptional educator. His research journey has always linked into teaching – ensuring an impact on students at all levels, as well as on organisations and policy.

The Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences (TESS) ceremony takes place on 18 October 2016 at ICOSS. Kamal will receive a certificate and £500 towards developing his learning and leaching at the Management School.

Click here to download Kamal’s CLEAR IDEAS app, or here to visit the online portal.

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